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Hear'Say band.jpg
Hear'Say in 2001
Background information
OriginLondon, England and Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom
Genres Pop
Years active2001–2002
Labels MCA Music, Polydor
Island Records
Associated acts Liberty X, Steve Lee, Boom!
Past members Danny Foster
Myleene Klass
Suzanne Shaw
Noel Sullivan
Kym Marsh
Johnny Shentall

Hear'Say were a British pop group. They were created through the ITV reality TV show Popstars in February 2001, the first UK series of the international Popstars franchise. The group, who were signed to Polydor Records, originally consisted of Danny Foster, Myleene Klass, Kym Marsh, Suzanne Shaw, and Noel Sullivan. Sullivan is originally from Cardiff, Wales and Marsh is from Wigan, but the other members originate from London, England. Hear'Say achieved instant fame, breaking chart records with their debut single "Pure and Simple" and the album Popstars . However, their second album failed to match this success.

ITV (TV network) TV network in the United Kingdom

ITV is a British free-to-air television network with its headquarters in London, it was launched in 1955 as Independent Television under the auspices of the Independent Television Authority to provide competition to BBC Television, that was established in 1932. ITV is also the oldest commercial network in the UK. Since the passing of the Broadcasting Act 1990, its legal name has been Channel 3, to distinguish it from the other analogue channels at the time, namely BBC 1, BBC 2 and Channel 4. In part, the number 3 was assigned because television sets would usually be tuned so that the regional ITV station would be on the third button, with the other stations being allocated to the number within their name.

Popstars was an international reality television franchise and a precursor to the Idol series. The series first began in New Zealand in 1999 when producer Jonathan Dowling formed the five member all-girl pop music group TrueBliss. Popstars remains one of the most successful TV show formats of all time with the format being sold to more than 50 countries. The show was the inspiration for Simon Fuller's Idols franchise.

A media franchise, also known as multimedia franchise, is a collection of related media in which several derivative works have been produced from an original creative work of fiction, such as a film, a work of literature, a television program or a video game. The intellectual property from the work can be licensed to other parties or partners for further derivative works and commercial exploitation across a range of media and by a variety of industries for merchandising purposes.


In January 2002, Marsh left Hear'Say due to conflicts with Klass and Sullivan. She was replaced by former Boom! member Johnny Shentall a month later. During a summer promotional tour, Hear'Say were constantly harassed by members of the public. "Lovin' Is Easy," the group's only single to be released with Shentall, failed to make a commercial impact. Hear'Say announced their split in October 2002, twenty months after their formation, citing "abuse from the public" as the main reason for their demise. Since the dissolution of the band, the members have had individual success in acting, presenting, and singing.

Johnny Shentall is a British pop singer. He was first a member of the pop group Boom! before joining another pop group, Hear'Say in 2002.


2000–01: Formation, Popstars and Everybody

Over the course of six weeks in late 2000, thousands of hopeful singers attended open television auditions for ITV's Popstars talent show. The contestants were judged by Nigel Lythgoe, Paul Adam (director of A&R at Polydor Records, who had rights to the finished group), and Nicki Chapman, who had worked with the Spice Girls. The judges reduced the contestants to a group of ten, before visiting each of them at their homes to reveal whether or not they had been selected for the group. The five chosen singers – Danny Foster, Myleene Klass, Kym Marsh, Suzanne Shaw, and Noel Sullivan – formed Hear'Say. [1] The five unsuccessful finalists went on to form the group Liberty (later renamed Liberty X after a legal dispute). The programme documented Hear'Say recording and promoting their first single with the series ending on the night the single charted in the UK Singles Chart. Popstars became an instant success, taking in audiences of over 10 million viewers. [2]

Nigel Lythgoe Executive producer and television director

Nigel Lythgoe OBE is an English television and film director and producer, television dance competition judge, former dancer in the Young Generation and choreographer. He was the producer of the shows Pop Idol and American Idol and is the creator and executive producer of, and a regular judge on, So You Think You Can Dance. He also created the 2009 competition Superstars of Dance.

Polydor Records multinational record label headquartered in the United Kingdom, owned by Universal Music Group

Polydor is a British record label and company, that operates as part of Universal Music Group. It has a close relationship with Universal's Interscope Geffen A&M Records label, which distributes Polydor's releases in the United States. In turn, Polydor distributes Interscope releases in the United Kingdom. Polydor Records Ltd. was established in London in 1954 as a British subsidiary of German company Deutsche Grammophon GmbH. It was renamed Polydor Ltd. in 1972.

Nicki Chapman English television presenter

Nicki Chapman is an English television presenter who also works in the British pop music industry. She was also a judge on the ITV reality shows Popstars, with Nigel Lythgoe and Paul Adam, and Pop Idol, along with Simon Cowell, Pete Waterman and Neil Fox. Chapman currently hosts Wanted Down Under, Escape to the Country and its spin-offs I Escaped to the Country, and Escape to the Continent as well as The RHS Chelsea Flower Show. She also presents on BBC Radio 2 as a stand-in presenter.

In March 2001, Hear'Say released their first single "Pure and Simple," a cover of a little-known album track by Girl Thing. The song went straight to number one on the UK Singles Chart in March 2001, selling just under 550,000 copies. [3] "Pure and Simple" was the fastest-selling debut single at the time, as well as the fastest-selling non-charity single – a record beaten a year later by Pop Idol winner Will Young. [3] The track spent two more weeks at number one. [4] With the release of their debut album Popstars , Hear'Say became the first act in UK chart history to simultaneously top the UK Singles Chart and UK Albums Chart with their debut releases. [4] Popstars sold 306,631 copies in its first week, breaking yet another record for fastest-selling debut album. [4] The album featured cover versions of "Monday Monday" by The Mamas & the Papas and "Bridge over Troubled Water" by Simon & Garfunkel, alongside original tracks purchased for the group.

Pure and Simple (song) 2001 single by HearSay

"Pure and Simple" is a song by British pop group Hear'Say, the winners of the UK version of Popstars. It was a cover of the original version recorded three years earlier by English-Dutch girl group Girl Thing, who were dropped from BMG before the song was given to Hear'Say. The song was released on 12 March 2001 as the lead single from Hear'Say's debut studio album Popstars (2001). The B-side is a cover of Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge over Troubled Water".

Girl Thing were an English-Dutch girl group, consisting of members Jodi Albert, Anika Bostelaar, Linzi Martin, Michelle Barber and Nikki Stuart. They were formed in 1998 by Simon Cowell and were originally intended to rival the Spice Girls, but their success was minor and short-lived. They sold 2 million records worldwide before disbanding in 2001.

UK Singles Chart British singles sales chart

The UK Singles Chart is compiled by the Official Charts Company (OCC), on behalf of the British record industry, listing the top-selling singles in the United Kingdom, based upon physical sales, paid-for downloads and streaming. The Official Chart, broadcast on BBC Radio 1 and MTV, is the UK music industry's recognised official measure of singles and albums popularity because it is the most comprehensive research panel of its kind, today surveying over 15,000 retailers and digital services daily, capturing 99.9% of all singles consumed in Britain across the week, and over 98% of albums. To be eligible for the chart, a single is currently defined by the Official Charts Company (OCC) as either a 'single bundle' having no more than four tracks and not lasting longer than 25 minutes or one digital audio track not longer than 15 minutes with a minimum sale price of 40 pence. The rules have changed many times as technology has developed, the most notable being the inclusion of digital downloads in 2005 and streaming in July 2014.

Hear'Say released their second single, "The Way to Your Love," in June 2001. The song became their second consecutive number one single. [5] [6] The group were invited to perform at the 80th birthday celebrations of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. [7] Hear'Say went on to appear in the ITV show Hear'Say It's Saturday, featuring performances, sketches, and celebrity guests. [8] This followed on from a mini-series named Meet the Popstars which was intended to allow the public to get to know the group and their music away from the talent show format. In August 2001, Hear'Say toured the United Kingdom. They initially announced five dates which quickly sold out, causing the band to schedule thirty more dates. [9] However, the new dates struggled to sell out as hundreds of tickets remained unsold. [9] [10] The group also released a live DVD.

The Way to Your Love 2001 single by HearSay

"The Way to Your Love" is the second single from the group Hear'Say, the winners of the UK version of Popstars. It was the second and last single from their debut studio album Popstars (2001).

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh Member of the British Royal Family, consort to Queen Elizabeth II

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, is the husband of Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom.

Whilst on tour, the group recording their second studio album, Everybody. In November 2001, just nine months after the release of their debut album, Hear'Say released Everybody. The album was preceded by a single of the same name. The single debuted at number four, while the album crept into the chart at number 24. [10] Everybody went on to sell just one fifth as many copies as Popstars. Despite the second album's lack of success, it did achieve Gold status by the BPI but over a decade after its release [11] and plans were made for an arena tour but these were later cancelled. [10]

2001–02: Line-up changes, decline and break-up

Tabloids began reporting that Kym Marsh, who had gained attention due to her relationship with former EastEnders actor Jack Ryder, had left the band following feuds with bandmate Myleene Klass. [10] [12] A representative for Hear'Say denied the reports, stating: "Everybody who is involved with Hear'Say will be sitting down this week to discuss the future. Kym Marsh is still with the band." [12] However, in January 2002, Kym Marsh announced that she was leaving Hear'Say, later revealing she often fought with Klass and Noel Sullivan. [13] Auditions were held to find Marsh's replacement. [14]

The audition process was due to be televised, mirroring the procedure during which the original members of Hear'Say were chosen. [15] Johnny Shentall, husband of Steps singer Lisa Scott-Lee, won the auditions, joining the group on 5 February 2002. [16] Controversy erupted when it was found out that Shentall had previously been a member of short-lived pop group Boom! and a back-up dancer for Hear'Say. [10] [16] In March 2002, Hear'Say cancelled their planned arena tour to allow Shentall time to "settle in" to the group. [10]

Hear'Say began recording their third album. During the summer of 2002, the group toured the UK radio roadshows circuit, where they were constantly booed and abused by members of the public, with a performance in Brighton being cut short due to the animosity concerned – evidence of the degree of public animosity that had built up. During the tour, the group's vehicle was threatened by an apparently armed man at a motorway service area on the M1 motorway in Leicestershire. [10] [17] The man, later arrested, claimed to have been playing a prank on the group. In August 2002, Hear'Say released their only single with Shentall, entitled "Lovin' Is Easy". The track had a new sophisticated feel in an attempt to regenerate interest in the group's music. The single became Hear'Say's lowest charting single to date when it peaked at number six. [18] Media reports suggested that Polydor Records wanted the single to at least reach the UK Top 5. Following the disappointing sales of the single, it was thought that they would be dropped by the label, though no official word came from Polydor.

Hear'Say split up on 1 October 2002, citing "abuse from the public" as the main reason. [10] [19] The group admitted to being a fad that had passed. [19] Hear'Say's popularity had been eclipsed by that of Liberty X, a band composed of the five other finalists of Popstars. [10]

Solo careers

Myleene Klass

Klass went on to record a classical album for Polydor Records' classical division, before becoming a presenter on CD:UK . Klass also presented the Sunday breakfast show on Classic FM in 2006. She now presents Smooth Classics every weekend from 10pm-1am. Klass appeared on the sixth series of ITV's I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! , where she came second. She went on co-host LivingTV's Ghost Towns with Derek Acorah , and also part of the quiz panel for the BBC's 2007 show The National Lottery People's Quiz . Klass was the second female co-host of The One Show on BBC One, before quitting in August 2007, to give birth to a baby girl called Ava. Since 2008, Klass has hosted Last Choir Standing , 10 Years Younger , [20] and has co-hosted the American version of I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!. [21] [22] [23] [24] In January 2010 Klass presented the ITV1 show Popstar to Operastar along with Alan Titchmarsh. The celebrities on this show included Klass' former bandmate Kym Marsh with whom she is on good terms.

Kym Marsh

Marsh opted for an adult contemporary sound and released three UK Top 40 singles – "Cry", "Come on Over" and "Sentimental" – and an album, on Polydor's sister label Island, before she was dropped due to low sales. She later went on to become a guest presenter of Loose Women , and entered Making Your Mind Up 2006, the UK show devised to pick a singer and song for the Eurovision Song Contest, but did not win. She appeared in Hollyoaks: In the City before her character was killed, and she is now appearing in UK soap Coronation Street as barmaid and mother Michelle Connor, for which role she won Best Newcomer at The British Soap Awards in 2007. She married EastEnders actor Jack Ryder in 2002, but in March 2008 it was announced that the couple were to separate. In January 2010 Marsh participated in the ITV celebrity reality television programme Popstar to Operastar , presented by her ex-bandmate Myleene Klass. They're both on good terms along with their former bandmate Noel Sullivan.

Suzanne Shaw

Shaw has gone on to have a successful career both as a singer and actress on stage (such as in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat , The Rocky Horror Show , White Christmas and Chicago ) and also as a model, television presenter and popular media personality. She had a high-profile relationship with Darren Day, whom she met whilst starring in the 2003 tour of Summer Holiday . The pair now have a son, Corey Mackenzie Day, although they are no longer in a relationship. Shaw has appeared in TV shows, including dramas such as The Courtroom and The Bill . Suzanne was a member of the Loose Women panel, has written weekly columns for Woman Magazine and was crowned winner of ITV's hit show Dancing on Ice in March 2008. In June 2009, she married long-term boyfriend Jason King, one half of the presenting duo JK and Joel. Since April 2010, Shaw has been appearing in the UK soap Emmerdale as Eve Birch, granddaughter of longstanding character Edna Birch. In January 2014 Shaw competed in the final series of Dancing on Ice - an All Star series featuring past champions, finalists and favourites.

Noel Sullivan

Sullivan is now a stage performer. In 2005 he starred in West End musical Love Shack with former Steps star Faye Tozer and former S Club singer Jon Lee, before moving on in 2006 to What a Feeling, which visited all parts of Britain and received country-wide accolades.[ citation needed ] After What A Feeling, Sullivan then hosted and starred in two shows in Las Vegas, Cover Girls and Simply Ballroom. In 2006 Sullivan appeared in Five's reality show Trust Me - I'm A Holiday Rep . Starting in July 2008, Sullivan starred alongside Bruno Langley and Bernie Nolan in a nationwide tour of Flashdance . He later appeared in the West End production of Grease as Danny Zuko, [25] before being cast as Galileo in We Will Rock You .

Danny Foster

Foster has kept a relatively low profile since the group split. He leads a successful soul group and has appeared in the Channel 4 show The Games in 2005, replacing actor Jonathon Morris, and Channel Five's Trust Me – I'm A Beauty Therapist in October 2006. He was a reserve for Dancing on Ice in 2009 and 2010. In May 2013, Danny auditioned for the BBC talent show 'The Voice' where he failed to move on to the next round, but received positive comments regarding his performance.

Johnny Shentall

Shentall starred in MTV's Totally Scott-Lee alongside his wife, and has also appeared in musicals such as Starlight Express . Shentall also appeared on ITV2 show CelebAir with wife Lisa Scott-Lee, finishing in 6th and 7th place.


The reason for the apostrophe in the group's name was for a while open to conjecture. Some commentators said it was a deliberate attempt to appeal to a youthful audience by imitating an informal, uneducated style; others suggested it was simply a case of bad grammar on the part of its creator; but others say it was simply that the owner of the domain hearsay.com, [26] refused to license the name to the band. One explanation for its inclusion is that a Canadian band had already been using the name "Hearsay" since 1992.[ citation needed ] Interviewed on BBC1's Breakfast on 4 June 2008, Suzanne Shaw stated that the apostrophe was included because "it looked good on paper, it was a design thing". In her best-selling book on punctuation, Eats, Shoots & Leaves , the author Lynne Truss states that "the naming of Hear'Say in 2001 was [...] a significant milestone on the road to punctuation anarchy."



Popstars (2001)

Everybody (UK No. 24, 5 weeks on chart, December 2001) [27]

  1. "Everybody" (Martin Harrington, Ash Howes, Richard Stannard, Julian Gallagher & A. Caine)
  2. "Suddenly" (Cathy Dennis & O. Paul)
  3. "We Go On" (Mikkel S. Eriksen, Hallgeir Rustan & Tor Erik Hermasen)
  4. "Back Down to Zero" (Liz Winstanley & S. Robson)
  5. "Play to Win" (Mikkel S. Eriksen, Hallgeir Rustan & Tor Erik Hermasen)
  6. "Angel in My Heart" (Eliot Kennedy, Suzanne Shaw & Tim Woodcock)
  7. "You're All I Need to Get By" (Ashford & Simpson)
  8. "Not the End of the World" (Eliot Kennedy, T. Lever, M. Percy, Tim Woodcock & Cawley)
  9. "Don't Go Believing" (Ray Hedges, Nigel Butler & Suzanne Shaw)
  10. "Home Again" (Cathy Dennis & Simon Ellis)
  11. "A Good Thing" (Ray Hedges, Nigel Butler & Hear'Say)
  12. "Straight from the Heart" (Tim Hawes, Pete Kirtley & Tracy Ackerman)
  13. "Pure and Simple" (New Version) (Tim Hawes, Pete Kirtley & Alison Clarkson)



List of singles, with selected chart positions and certifications, showing year released and album name
TitleYearPeak chart positions Certifications Album
"Pure and Simple"200113129Popstars
"The Way to Your Love"11044
"Lovin' Is Easy"2002631Non-album single
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


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